The RuneScape clock is a term that is used to refer to the time-frame used for actions in RuneScape. RuneScape runs on units of time of approximately 0.6 seconds which are sometimes called ticks or game cycles. All actions are a multiple of this basic tick time. This includes any instance where a message appears in the chat interface, any instance that experience is gained, any instance that a monster spawns, and any other actions a player performs, including animations (hence players being able to perform animations in sync with each other rather easily). Purely client sided occurrences are independent of the game tick (e.g. right-click menus).
Each action you register within one tick, will start to take place by the beginning of the next tick.
|“|| Q. As we know and stated by Andrew the game runs at 600ms intervals (one tick). Is there a reason for this exact number? Could the game benefit from lower interval, for example 300ms?
A. Some upcoming features in the server tick at a 50ms rate. The overall 600ms tick remains, as the content relies on having this time interval available as a base, but we’re not limited by it.
— Mod Jack H
Length of a tick
The length of a tick can be measured by timing a repeated action using a stopwatch. For example, lighting 25 logs without re-lighting a log takes 100 ticks. If the stopwatch can be stopped to within 0.1 seconds, the tick can be measured to within 0.001 seconds.
Ideally, without any lag, there should be exactly 100 ticks per minute, or 0.600 seconds per tick. However, the observed length of the tick is actually slightly more than this, due to connection speed and the server having to process all the players that are currently logged in. The observed length of the tick is between 0.606 and 0.618 seconds. The tick length is constant throughout a server for all players, which is due to the fact that player's actions are processed in the same order every time, so even if someone is processed last, they will still have the same tick as previously due to them being processed last every time. However, the tick length is not constant from server to server. The more players there are on a server, the longer the tick length; the fewer players are on a server, the shorter the tick length. While there seem to be other factors that affect tick length as well, the number of players on the server seems to be the largest factor. It is typical for ticks on World 2 (usually a full world) to be 0.616 to 0.618 seconds each, whereas ticks on less full worlds typically are 0.606 to 0.611 seconds each.
It is possible for a server to lag and "miss" a tick or multiple ticks from time to time. This seems to happen most often on worlds with the greatest number of players.
Length of selected actions
The length of the following actions are given in ticks.
- Abyssal whip, Saradomin sword, and Zamorakian spear: 4 per hit
- Any scimitar, dagger or shortsword: 4 per hit
- Any longsword: 5 per hit
- Godswords and battleaxes: 6 per hit
- Two-handed swords and Dharok's greataxe: 7 per hit
Note: These times are all for the accurate or longranged style. Switching to the rapid attack style decreases the number of ticks by 1.
- Any darts or throwing knives or toxic blowpipe: 3 per hit
- Karil's crossbow: 4 per hit
- Any shortbow: 4 per hit
- Any longbow: 6 per hit
- Composite bows, the Crystal bow and the Seercull: 5 per hit
- Throwing axes: 5 per hit
- Any metal crossbow: 6 per hit
- The Ogre bow: 8 per hit
- The Dark bow: 9 per hit
- Fastest lap of Ape Atoll Agility Course: 64
- Building and removing a larder or door or table: 5 per item
- The Demon butler spends 10 ticks to bank while the Butler needs 20 ticks.
- Cooking fish: 4 per food item using the cook-all option. However, this can be lowered by using food again on the source of heat after a food item has been cooked and quickly selecting the option to cook. This allows for food items to be cooked as fast as 2 ticks each. This fast cooking technique, however, is no longer possible after a hidden update.
- Making wine: 3 per wine
- Attaching orbs to battlestaves: 2 per battlestaff
- Crafting d'hide bodies: 3 per body
- Cutting gems: 2 per gem
- Making jewellery: 3 ticks per item
- Glass blowing: 3 ticks per item
- Weeds grow every 500 ticks.
- Saplings grow every 500 ticks.
- Burning logs: 4 per log
- Chance of catching a fish from any fishing spot: 5 per fish
However, you are not guaranteed a fish every 5 ticks; rather, every 5 ticks there is a chance to catch a fish.
- Cutting wood into unstrung bows: 3 per bow
- Stringing a bow: 2 per bow
- Fletching arrows: 2 per set of 15 arrows
- Fletching bolts: 1 per set of 10
- Cutting gems into bolt tips: 4 ticks per gem
- Fletching wooden shields: 7 ticks per shield
- Putting a herb into a vial: 1 per herb
- Putting a second ingredient into a potion: 2 per potion
- Cleaning grimy herbs: There is no known limit of how many herbs can be cleaned per tick, rather, multiple requests are saved, one for each click of a grimy herb, and are all processed simultaneously at the next game tick. A maximum of 8 requests can be processed for cleaning herbs. This is the same for armour equipping as well.
- Catching Red chinchompas: 8 per chinchompa (if sufficient box traps are ready to be checked)
- Combat spells: 5 per cast
- Trident of the seas or swamp: 4 per hit
- High Level Alchemy: 5 per cast
- Enchant Jewellery spells: 3 per cast
- Superheat Item: 3 per cast
- Humidify: 3 per cast
- Plank Make: 3 per cast
- Bake Pie: 3 per cast
- String Jewellery: 3 per cast
- Camelot teleport: 4 per cast
- Enchant Crossbow Bolt: 1 or 2 per cast (the game allows this spell to be cast every tick, but it is virtually impossible to do so)
- Vengeance: 50 per cast
With a rune pickaxe, there is a chance to mine an ore every 3 ticks. This does not apply to rune essence, which comes more frequently than this.
- POH Altar offerings: 3 per bone
- Burying bones: 2 per bone (1 in RS3)
- Ectofuntus: 1 per bonemeal+slime
Prayer activation and deactivation is applied on the next game tick, and the drain rate of each prayer is measured by a number of ticks. Prayer drain-rate follows a 50ms clock.
At fastest, there are 6 ticks between crafts at the Nature altar if 2 or 3 pouches are emptied, or 5 ticks if 1 pouch is emptied.
- Smelting ores at a furnace: 4 per ore
- Forging at an anvil: 4 per item smithed
- Making cannonballs: 10 per steel bar
- Making knives: 5 per bar
- Pickpocketing: 2 per pickpocket
- Blackjacking: 6 per round
- A Pyramid Plunder activity is 500 ticks.
- Chance of cutting a log from any type of tree: 4 per chance
However, you are not guaranteed a log every 4 ticks; rather, every 4 ticks there is a chance to cut a log.
- Running covers 2 squares per tick, while walking covers 1 square per tick.
- The amount of time a player can spend collecting tears in Tears of Guthix is a number of game ticks equal to the player's quest points.
- Boosted or reduced stats move towards normal at a rate of 1 level per 100 ticks, which is just a tiny bit over one minute. Checks every 20 ticks.
- Player chat messages stay above their heads for 5 ticks (exception: if a second message is sent sooner it will replace the first and last 5 ticks unless another message is sent sooner etc).
- The special attack bar recovers at a rate of 10% per 50 ticks.
In general, knowledge of the RuneScape clock does not matter much, but it can make it easier to time actions. Timing just one of a repeated action may clearly give a tick number, which may be able to be used to estimate experience per hour. For example, Superheat Item, Plank Make, and Bake Pie all are spells that take 3 ticks each and are cast one by one on an inventory of supplies. If it is known that superheat item may be cast about 1800 times per hour, plank make and bake pie would be known to be very nearly the same rate merely by timing a single cast. The 1800 itself could even be estimated without actual measurement by noting that about 5940 ticks per hour divided by 3 ticks per cast is 1980 casts per hour of hypothetical continuous casting, and that 7-10% should be subtracted for mistakes and banking.